PROVIDENCE – Three Rhode Island men are charged in federal court in Providence with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for their alleged participation in schemes to defraud Land Rover dealerships in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha said.
According to billing documents, dealerships in Warwick, RI, and Bedford, NH each delivered a vehicle to a buyer who claimed to have secured over $100,000 in online financing. In each case, an investigation determined that the online credit applications were submitted using a stolen identity. The “buyer” of each vehicle took delivery after presenting a driver’s license showing his own photo and the stolen identity used to secure the financing.
It is alleged that on April 25, 2022, Dennis Odoom, 24, of Pawtucket, took custody of a Land Rover from a Rhode Island dealer, financed for more than $120,559 with the use of an identity volley; and on May 10, 2022, 25-year-old Roy Sweets of Providence took custody of a Land Rover at a New Hampshire dealership, funded for $111,183 with the use of a stolen identity. It is further alleged that two days after delivery in New Hampshire, a person, posing as the “brother” of the New Hampshire buyer, attempted to take possession of a vehicle after a request for dealer financing has been submitted online and approved. Delivery was halted when a dealership employee determined that the driver’s license presented by the buyer may have been tampered with. Adalberto Mauricio Romero, 25, of Providence, was arrested by Bedford, NH police when he showed up at the dealership to pick up the vehicle.
Federal arrest warrants were later issued for all three men. Roy Sweets and Dennis Odoom were arrested Monday by agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General; Adalberto Mauricio Romero visited the United States Marshals Service on Tuesday. All three men were released on unsecured bail after appearing in US District Court in Rhode Island.
A federal criminal complaint is just one charge. An accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul F. Daly, Jr., and William J. Ferland.
The matter was investigated by Warwick, RI, and Bedford, NH, Police Departments, Homeland Security Investigations and the Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.